Once upon a time, the only type of high-performance pickup truck carmakers ground out were designed for going fast on pavement — effectively muscle cars with truck beds. GMC had the Syclone; Ford had the Lightning; Dodge had the Viper-powered Ram SRT-10. Yet by the latter half of the Aughts, this niche had faded into oblivion — the market for performance trucks seemingly too shallow to bother with.
Then Ford created the F-150 Raptor, and everything changed.
Instead of prioritizing speed on tarmac, the Raptor was all about going fast everywhere else — on dirt roads, over rocky desert terrain, along two-tracks, anywhere that street cars would fear to tread. Between its incredible capability — Ford reps were known to tout it to journalists by encouraging them to hit parking lot curbs at highway speed — and its tough-guy looks, it became a smash hit; adding more powerful engines and new body styles brought it even greater popularity.
Yet in spite of its success, the F-150 Raptor has faced almost no direct competitors. That’s set to change this year; Ram is about to drop the Hellcat-powered Rebel TRX, a supercharged monster that should easily overpower the Raptor’s 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. General Motors hasn’t confirmed its own entrant into this fight, but as with muscle cars, anywhere Mopar and FoMoCo go, GM seems likely to follow; indeed, rumors have been flying since last year that Chevrolet would produce its own fast-running off-road Silverado to try and destroy the Raptor with.
And while those early reports suggested the truck would make do with GM’s stock smallblock V8…it now seems as though it could instead level up to a supercharged unit.
That’s the rumor according to TheFastLaneTruck.com, which cites a well-placed anonymous source within General Motors. The source claimed that the General is working on a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 for use in the company’s truck platforms, citing both the Raptor/TRX-fighting Silverado or a Chevy Tahoe SS as two potential (and awesome) uses for it.
If true, it’s a logical move for the General. After all, the company has been whipping up supercharged 6.2s for the Camaro and Corvette since 2009, pulling as much as 755 horsepower out of them in the case of the C7-gen Corvette ZR1. And with the Rebel TRX likely to make at least 700 horsepower and the F-150 Raptor rumored to score the Shelby GT500’s supercharged 5.8-liter V8 in order to keep up, sending a high-performance off-road Silverado into the fray without matching firepower seems like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
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